Last week I was pulled into a discussion of Morning Pages with a couple of other writers. One had not found them helpful and wanted to know our thoughts on the matter. This evolved into a conversation about the relative merits of writing by hand or on the keyboard.
This morning as I began writing in my hard-bound paper journal, I began feeling restless. It would be faster to write on the keyboard. I could use cut and paste and ... I began listing all the relative merits and demerits of each form and came up with the following list:
Digital journals are
- Faster to write
- Searchable for nuggets of wisdom that flow forth
- Easily copied into other documents
- Less likely to be found lying around
- Password protectable for security
- Subject to file corruption
- Potentially inaccessible as technology advances
- Satisfying to write in
- Potentially risky places to keep sensitive insights
- Possibly making use of hand-heart-brain connection in unique way
I’m going to stick with my paper journal as an adventure, because I’m never sure where it will take me, and I’m going to spend more time on journal-type writing on the computer, especially for things I’m uncertain about sharing. It’s easy to password a folder, and easy to delete words after they are written. Short of destroying the volume or tearing out pages, that’s hard to do with a paper journal, and that realization is enough to deter (me) from writing with utter abandon in a bound volume. I'll use loose sheets, perhaps the back of junk mail, for that!
Although the debate about keyboard versus paper was not conclusive during that conversation I mention, conclusions we did agree on incuded:
- Writing a journal, any journal, is better than not writing a journal.
- No matter how you do it, journals are a great legacy, for yourself now and future generations later.
- Sooner or later, keeping a journal will lead to insight, personal growth, and probably healing.
Write now: spend (at least) fifteen minutes doing freewriting — the basis of power journaling. Do it by hand, in a paper journal, on scrap paper, whatever; or do it on the computer. It doesn’t matter how you do it. It matters that you do it! If it doesn’t lead you to instant inner wisdom and deep soul healing, don’t fret. If you keep at it, sooner or later it will.